Already closed | 2h 30m | Chelsea

The Secret Life of Bees

From 179 member  reviews
Members say: Great singing, Absorbing, Entertaining, Relevant, Great acting

About the show

Based on the best-selling novel by Sue Monk Kidd, Atlantic's world premiere musical comes from the creative team that brought you "Sweat," "Spring Awakening," "Working," and "Fun Home." More…

South Carolina, 1964. Lily Owens, a restless white teenager, struggles with her merciless father and the haunting memory of her mother’s death. When Rosaleen, her black caregiver, is beaten and jailed for asserting her right to vote, Lily’s rebellious spirit is ignited. She and Rosaleen escape on an adventure where they are taken in by a trio of black beekeeping sisters. While Lily tries to unlock the secrets of her past, she and Rosaleen find solace in the mesmerizing world of bees and spirituality in this extraordinary tale of awakening, fellowship, and healing. 


Member Reviews (179)

MEMBERS SAY:

Great singing, Absorbing, Entertaining, Relevant, Great acting
84
Avg Score

During previews
85
Masterful, Ambitious, Entertaining, Absorbing, Great singing

See it if you love superb singing throughout a well written, well acted, and well staged new musical.

Don't see it if you can't be transported to a former time and place with relevance today.

During previews
70
Energetic, loud, not the book

See it if like very loud, vibrant singing throughtout a play, whether it is warranted or not and if you like LaChanze. There is some lovely acting.

Don't see it if you want to see the story in the beloved book. This is very different. It still offers some touching moments, but there is a lot that is di

During previews
75
Ambitious, Needs more work, Great cast, Enchanting, Not quite ready

See it if You want to see major artists doing their work in an intimate setting. I'm sure there are hopes and dreams that this will make it to B'way.

Don't see it if Your idea of a musical entails lots of sequins and jazz-hand dancing.

Also Many of the reviews on Show-Score are already very, very high for this... Read more Read less

During previews
75
Intelligent, Great staging, Great singing

See it if you like musicals with social relevance.

Don't see it if you just want light entertainment.

During previews
91
Great singing, Great acting, Entertaining, Clever, Absorbing

See it if you can enjoy a mostly sad musical with uncomfortable themes still relevant to our times. And a marvelous cast working beautifully together

Don't see it if You can't handle difficult themes that were a sad part of the south in the 60s and still exist today.

During previews
74
Good singing, Intelligent, Entertaining

See it if You like to see what happens with a book that goes to film and then theater You like musicals with strong black voices

Don't see it if You want the play to follow the book You don’t like the ”musicalization” of dramas with a loud onstage orchestra

During previews
93
Great staging, Great singing, Great acting, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if You want great theater! Wonderful acting, absorbing story, terrific singing

Don't see it if You want a mindless horrible show

During previews
95
Delightful, Great singing, Intense, Resonant, Riveting

See it if you enjoy uplifting music and story line, great performances from a strong cast, enjoy nostalgic and period music, and a feel good evening.

Don't see it if you are looking for innovating staging or technology, want a complex story.

Also Songs are still a work-in-progress, but still a very enjoyable show. T... Read more Read less

During previews
88
Delightful, Relevant, Intelligent, Great singing, Absorbing

See it if A powerful emotional transfer of the book to the stage. Uniformly strong cast. Intimate, engaging, creatively staged. Likely to have legs

Don't see it if You are tired of exploring the Civil Rights era. You prefer grand elaborate staging.

During previews
90
Great acting, Entertaining

See it if You love a talented cast demonstrate great singing voices.

Don't see it if You don't like musicals

Also The songs in the second half are much stronger than the first. But the... Read more Read less

During previews
90
Profound, Great singing, Absorbing, Enchanting

See it if you love intimate productions, and incredible, soulful singing.

Don't see it if you want huge productions or lots of dancing.

During previews
90
Absorbing, Profound, Must see, Great singing

See it if You want to see a show that is Broadway bound in an intimate theater space. POWERFUL voices deliver moving songs and theater.

Don't see it if If you're looking for a conventional feel-good musical.

Also 10+ musicians on stage. Their sound is fantastic! Book, lyrics, and mu... Read more Read less

During previews
70
Ambitious, Great singing, Slow

See it if You welcome a tale of wrongs aimed at Blacks and White domestic abuse in the Southern Civil Rights Act era, with a bunch of well-sung songs.

Don't see it if You don’t want a relatively slow-moving story with some of the songs seeming to come out of nowhere and not really moving the story along.

Also Very hard to get a ticket. Not sure if it’s because of the quality of ... Read more Read less

During previews
80
Great staging, Great acting, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if Great performances and rousing musical numbers. Good story development

Don't see it if You really hate musicals or only like the Rogers and Hammerstein type

During previews
90
Must see, Relevant, Great singing, Entertaining

See it if You want to catch this amazing, multi-talented cast and enjoy American musical theater at its best before it hits broadway.

Don't see it if You do not like to be dazzled by talent. You do not like pieces dealing with the civil rights era and the American South.

Also I appreciated that every number moved the plot forward, and the songs ... Read more Read less

During previews
98
Resonant, Riveting, Entertaining, Great singing, Absorbing

See it if Smart and entertaining story set in a dark period of our race relations history. Music and singing and acting were stunning.

Don't see it if If you don’t want to think and learn and be moved - otherwise this is an intelligent and resonant homerun!

During previews
71
Relevant, Great singing, Dated

See it if You love Duncan Sheik and Lynn Nottage's work. The music and singing here are beautiful, and LN's book gives life to these amazing women.

Don't see it if You don't like incredible ambitious empowered women of color risking all and sacrificing to support the story of a needy white person.

During previews
90
Relevant, Absorbing, Great acting, Great singing, Timely

See it if you like new musicals. I was surprised how moving it was. As intended, it helped me identify with the anger felt by oppressed people.

Don't see it if you expect your musicals to be all honey sweet.

Also The singing, musicians, choreography, etc. were all Broadway ready! Se... Read more Read less

During previews
80
Great staging, Resonant, Thought-provoking, Great singing, Great acting

See it if You small, intimate, character-driven stories with top-notch vocals. Especially if you like shows about the black experience.

Don't see it if You prefer big, flashy musicals witch catchy songs that will have you tapping you toes and be stuck in your head days after.

Also This show is rumored to be coming to Broadway, so don't miss the oppor... Read more Read less

During previews
92
Great music and performances

See it if More terrific songs than in any other musical I've seen in the past 2 years (well, next to My Fair Lady). Some of the best voices around.

Don't see it if The source material isn't strong, and the story's climax isn't all that convincing.

During previews
100
Profound, Great staging, Great singing, Great acting, Exquisite

See it if You want to see the next Broadway smash before it hits Broadway.

Don't see it if you don't like amazing shows.

During previews
100
Exquisite, Refreshing, Must see

See it if one of the best scores I've ever heard.i was moved by the story and the performances.could be the next band's visit which saw here too

Don't see it if You don't like Duncan Sheik's music .if big production values are important to you

During previews
86
Ambitious, Resonant, Relevant, Great singing, Absorbing

See it if If you love Duncan Sheik's music or beautiful voices in a historic context

Don't see it if You don't like Duncan Sheik's music or want a musical with a lot of dancing

During previews
67
Lacking depth, Great singing

See it if If you like rousing music, fine solo and ensemble singing. The drama of the show was poignant but lacked a depth of intensity.

Don't see it if You don't like musicals. You do like a complex dramatic story.

During previews
100
Relevant, Great singing, Great acting, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if You love to be moved by theater. The content of the book together with the intelligent music and lyrics, create an experience that is moving

Don't see it if If you want camp and over the top performances - this is a subtle beautiful show. The cast is incredible - including young stars who amaze


June 13th, 2019
"The problem isn’t the added songs. The score, by Duncan Sheik and Susan Birkenhead, is in fact quite beautiful...What’s more, the songs are sung gorgeously by a cast that’s equally powerful in solo numbers and ensembles. The problem is what the songs are added to, and how much had to be cut to m...
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June 13th, 2019
"'The Secret Life of Bees' turns out to be all buzz and no sting...It leaves some of the city’s best voices without much to sing about...Their vocals are glorious but the show doesn’t seem to know what story it is telling, or how to tell it...One gets the sense that everyone involved is trying to...
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June 13th, 2019
"Musical theater brings out all that’s effective about 'The Secret Life of Bees' while dexterously downplaying its less convincing elements...It’s always heartening to encounter a production that truly feels like a fruitful collaboration and whose various team members are all joyfully pulling the...
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June 13th, 2019
"Some of the most gorgeous female-forward musical storytelling seen on a New York stage in some time...The show features a book by two-time Pulitzer winner Lynn Nottage, a warm, expansively melodic score by Duncan Sheik, descriptive lyrics by Broadway veteran Susan Birkenhead and sensitive direct...
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Cast & Creatives (5)